Heartwarming news of the day: actor Dennis Haskins, who played Principal Richard Belding in ’90s US sitcom Saved By The Bell, has graduated from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at the age of 65. He’d been at the same university before he became known to millions of viewers as the kindly disciplinarian with the high-pitched laugh, but only recently returned to finish the job.
With his theatre and speech degree in the bag, Haskins said: “For reasons long past, I left just short of my liberal arts degree in theater. Over the years I’ve thought about and even pursued finishing that degree. Now, with the forward thinking policies of this great university that I love so much that have benefited many other graduates, I join these graduates in holding my head high having earned my liberal arts degree in theater from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga!”
He looked suitably chuffed about it in his Instagram posts too.
So, 15 years after he left Bayside High, the actor is now a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate. In a strange instance of life imitating art, his character went on to become the dean of students at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at the end of spin-off series Saved By The Bell: The New Class in 2000. What have we learned here? Life isn’t always linear and it’s never too late to achieve your goals. Thanks for another great lesson, Mr. Belding.